MythBusters Episode 101: Alaska Special

Air Date: April 30, 2008

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If a dog retrieves a stick of dynamite thrown onto a frozen lake and gets underneath an SUV, the dynamite will blow a hole in the ice that will cause the SUV to sink.


To test this myth, Adam and Jamie went to Fischer Pond in Alaska. The dog consistently retrieved and brought back the object thrown onto the frozen lake, at about the same speed each time. However, when a stick of dynamite was detonated under an SUV, it did next to nothing. It took 24 pounds of dynamite packed into high-density directional cones to blow a hole large enough to sink the SUV.

"Cabin fever" is real.


To test this myth, Adam and Jamie were locked inside separate cabins in Alaska, with no entertainment at all. Both regularly took cognitive tests (to measure mental capacity) and saliva tests (to measure stress.) However, the results of the cognitive tests were too consistent, and the saliva tests were rendered worthless by the fact that Adam and Jamie frequently ate and drank beforehand. However, Adam exhibited all four common symptoms of cabin fever (irritability, forgetfulness, angry eyes, and excessive sleeping) and Jamie exhibited one (excessive sleeping).

If you are going to hit a moose with a vehicle, it is safer to hit it at a higher speed than to try to slow down.


The Build Team ran identical cars into a fake rubber moose at two different speeds. The damage from the high speed impact was located higher up on the vehicle and was more severe. It was speculated that hitting a moose at a high speed would only work with a very low car such as an F1 race car. Such a car would be able to take out the legs and clear the area before the moose fell on top of it.

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  1. Moo:

    Where can I get one of those stress test machines? I want one!

    May 26, 2008 at 5:44 AM
  2. nathan shelton:

    i have to say u guys are great. keep up the great work i look forward to seeing yalls new shows.

    May 27, 2008 at 9:47 PM
  3. benjamin jones:

    you guys are so cool i watch every episode and bye the whole colection of dvds mad dogs cant wait to see the next episode

    June 10, 2008 at 8:15 PM
  4. bull_ant:

    Ok so there is this video going around with asians, french, and americans doing this cell phone trick. They put 3 or four cellphones together in a circle and put unpoped kernals of popcorn in the center. Then they call the cell phones all at once and the popcorn pops! Is this real or is it a trick? I wanna try it but i dont have enough cell phones! It looks so real, some people say they have tried it and some say it did work and others say it didnt. Has anyone done it and it worked? Is this viedeo real???

    June 19, 2008 at 6:22 AM
  5. norman:

    Cell phones and popcorn? Not unless they actually crank enough energy to equal a microwave. So no, video was bull.

    June 23, 2008 at 1:24 AM
  6. Richard Hall:

    I find adds on your web site about water into fuel. Why haven’t you tested this ridiculous idea? Is it because they are paying you to ignore the challange?

    June 23, 2008 at 6:56 AM
  7. Matt:

    “Why haven’t you tested this ridiculous idea?”

    Oh look, a self-answering question.

    June 26, 2008 at 5:36 AM
  8. Brian:

    Water into fuel? They did test it and it was bogus. Not everything is a government conspiracy to drive up fuel prices.

    June 27, 2008 at 9:30 AM
  9. s burke-polana:

    movies show chains being broken with gun shots. is it possible?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:17 PM
  10. The Manticore:

    the popcorn thing is from a hidden magnetron under the table

    July 23, 2008 at 9:35 PM
  11. brandon:

    I heard metal duct tape can remover warts is this true.

    August 18, 2008 at 10:42 AM
  12. karsten hallen:

    about the SUV on the ice, the myth diden`s say it was in alaska on a lake with almost 2 feet of hard ice, it could might as well been on ice just thick enough to support the SUV,and if the dynamite then would have detonated under the car,that would be enough to crack teh ice..

    somtimes they to whatever they can to bust a myth,even if it means to fly to alaska tho find the thikkest ice they could locte

    August 21, 2008 at 9:28 PM
  13. Shaun:

    The speed up one. They are talking about the fact you want to slow down, then right before you hit the animal hit the gas. Your front end dips when you hit the brakes. This causes the animal to chance flying into your windsheild. if you brake then hit the gas before impact your front will pop up giving you a chance to knock and run over the animal, or at the very least hit it dead on with less of a worry of the animal getting popped up into the windsheild and causing injury to the driver.

    August 26, 2008 at 11:51 PM
  14. Rip-Saw:

    Mythbusters lack of research into myths is disappointing at times. As the previous person said, you do not want to brake when you’re about to hit a large animal. This lowers the front end and they will ramp into your windshield, possibly killing you. It’s best to swerve as much as you can to avoid hitting it on the driver’s side. Obviously, it’s better to hit a moose at 40 MPH than 50 MPH, but it’s better to hit it at 50 MPH than to slow down by ten and lower your front end a lot.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:11 PM
  15. tmdeee:

    I didn’t see the episode, but I don’t get what a dog retrieving a stick of dynamite had to do with the experiment of trying to blow a hole in the ice under an SUV. What is the connection?

    October 18, 2008 at 4:29 PM
  16. matthew:

    what is the style and name brand of jamie sunglasses

    January 4, 2009 at 2:08 AM
  17. Ethan:

    The cabin fever myth should have been attempted with two in each cabin. According to so many movies (including an episode of the simpsons) when two people are trapped together they begin to turn against each other and become suspicious that they are plotting something against them.

    January 11, 2009 at 7:26 AM
  18. Duttie:

    I have actually survived hitting a moose at speeds over 110 klm I have tried and tried to watch you myth buster program on this subject as of this date I have been unable to get the clip to work pls help I just need to learn more as I have health issues due to this and no I have no legal prceedings or anything like that I do not live where I can just turn on the tv and watch your programthe computer is it

    February 7, 2009 at 2:10 PM
  19. Leslie D. Martin:

    The conclusion which was drawn regarding hitting a moose is bogus. I know. I personally witnessed the real thing. I was driving home from work (east bound on Tudor, approaching the stop light at Tudor and Tudor Centre Drive. The light turned yellow and just beyond the light a moose started into the road from the south side (my right as I was travelling). One stupid woman in a little sports car decided she didn’t want to stop for the light so she gunned it. She obviously didn’t bother to look beyond the light and see what was there. She made it through the light but hit the moose and the result was exactly as the “myth” says: She hit the legs, the moose spun in the air over the car and landed on the road immediately behind her. I was ticked that it didn’t land on her car ‘cuz that’s what she deserved.

    April 18, 2009 at 10:52 PM
  20. Stan:

    The cabin fever one is certainly plausible.
    I worked in oil exploration camps in northern Alberta for weeks on end and you could see guys getting ‘bushed’ after a few weeks.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM
  21. Dave:

    the dynamite under the car wouldnt crack the ice as there was nothing ontop of the dynamite , the explosion would have been a ball of fire as it wasnt channeled, but if the dynamite was under the tyre there should be enough force to channel the explosvie down to crack the ice

    June 27, 2009 at 6:07 AM
  22. Rune:

    Not all cars are built the same way.

    There are two manufacturers who test for moose impact.

    One of these have a proven track record of offering extremely good moose collision protection: Saab.

    An example:

    My step brother also tested a Saab against a moose. Loaded with three passengers, nobody inside the car were hurt. The speed at impact was approximately 80 kph. (He had been driving faster, but reckoned he managed to break down to 80 kph) mentions the elk test for those curious as to what I’m talking about.

    As for this particular myth, of course you’d want to reduce the speed prior to impact. Being worried about dipping the front is just plain silly. It is a tall animal, and it will have no problems clearing the front of the car. And if, by magic, you’re successfull, you’ll end up with a 1200 lbs animal on your car’s roof. Unless you’re driving a SAAB, you’ll be squished anyway.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM
  23. zachseay:

    ha me and my dad hit a moose in fairbanks, ak, going bout 65 mph, it jumped out about ten feet in front of us, i was riding shotgun it walked out in front of me. With ten feet to act, and traveling 65mph, we were screwed especially me it was coming to sit on my lap, life flashed before my eyes, i wasn’t even scared, i just accepted that that was how i was to go out. but the moose slipped on the ice, ha, never saw such beauty in death, we ran up and over the moose, this all happened in 2 seconds, awesome, we were stopped, trying to catch our breath when the moose in his last breaths lifted his head over our hood to stare at us…

    September 18, 2009 at 9:05 PM
  24. Todd:

    Loved your show on hitting the moose. I know of 2 girls that hit a moose and didn’t survive, your info just might save someones life one day. I did have 2 seperate accidents hitting a dear with the same vechicle, “lucky me” and sustained much more damage hitting one at 5 mph than I did at 65. They are alot closer to the road and much less weight. Enjoy your show! Try to avoid moose at all costs:)

    March 17, 2010 at 6:04 PM

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